Understanding Impoverishment: The Consequences of Development-Induced Displacement

By Christopher McDowell | Go to book overview

11
Land-Based Strategies
in Dam-Related Resettlement
Programmes in Africa

Véonique Lassailly-Jacob

'The tree that's been transplanted will never make as pleasant a shade as the tree that grows where it has always stood.'

(Baule proverb)


Introducdon

D uring recent decades, increasing investments in development infrastructure and growing population densities have been the main factors underlying the relocation of populations on a large scale.1 Since the 1960s, the construction of large hydro-electric dams and the formation of artificial lakes in Africa have been the most frequent causes of the forced displacement of communities. The data presented in this chapter are drawn from a few major dam-related resettlement operations that took place in Africa during the 1960s and 1970s ( Volta, Kossou, Kainji, Kariba, Aswan)2 as well as a few

____________________
1
My grateful thanks go to Michael Cernea and Noal Mellot for their valuable comments and suggestions for rewriting this chapter, which is based on data collected by the author during fieldwork in the Ivory Coast (the Kossou project), Ghana (the Volta project) and Egypt (the Aswan High Dam project).
2
Built across the Volta River in 1964, the Akosombo Dam in Ghana disrupted the lives of 80,000 people from various ethnic groups. Built in Egypt in 1969, the Aswan High Dam flooded the homeland of more than 100,000 Nubians who were resettled, half in Kom-Ombo (New Nubia), Egypt, and half in Khashm El Girba

-187-

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